29 August, 2008

My new favorite iPhone App

Often when I'm riding in the car I'll hear a song on the radio and wonder who it is. Either the DJ will not say the name of the song or I'll have to leave before he or she does. But I have Midomi on my iPhone now. If I hear a song and I like it and want to know more I just point it at the speakers and in 10 seconds I have the name of the artist and the song! It's magic! This morning it was Plush by the Stone Temple Pilots. The link here is not the version I was listening to, which was acoustic. The lyrics are kind of icky but I really liked the acoustic version. I guess they're going to be here at Bumbershoot this weekend on Sunday. I'd be tempted to go except I know the weather is going to be crap. My little trip there tomorrow to see Joe Bonamassa will be enough. Let's hope the rain holds off.

I did my best to relax yesterday evening and although I did have a nightmare it wasn't so bad and I managed to wake up before I started screaming. I worked on the Trellis Shawl and I have about 2 more balls to go on the main part. I really do think I can finish that monster up this weekend, especially since the weather is going to be bad and my DH has to work. I'll bribe myself - one hour in the garden each day and other than that, knit knit knit! I do think I'll do one other chore this weekend and that's get the pictures and mirrors positioned for S to put up next week. I can just spread them all out on the floor in the living room and dining room and then decide which wall they go on. And keep my fingers crossed that S doesn't want to bring any of his "art" from his old house. [Oh I know ... I am just so bad!]

Tonight at 7 is the last pre-season football game and I'm going with my nephew and a friend of his. I have tickets for 4 games this year although I have 6 seats. Two of the games I will be taking, probably, my DH and the other two my nephew will be taking a friend. Tonight he's taking a friend. It's too bad though - the Raiders. Not going to be a terrific game since it's the last pre-season but it'll be fun all the same. Then I've got one in October, one in November and one in December! Sweeeeeet!

28 August, 2008

The constants in our lives

Every year I get stressed at this time. It's the job. I can keep my stress under control pretty much because I exercise a lot and I have my knitting to keep me calm, not to mention a cocktail now and again. Sometimes though it gets the better of me and last night I had a terrible nightmare and woke up screaming. Why stress gives me nightmares I do not know. But I'll be glad when the next couple weeks are behind me again.

I drove in again today - too many meetings and errands plus S had to get up and out before I got up this morning and won't be home until after 7 and I can't leave Tinkerbell that long. When I bike I leave before 7:30 and typically don't get home until 6 and that's just too long for her. I heard this song on the radio this morning driving in. (I'm trying something new here -- that link should take you to Jango Music and you'd be able to listen to the song.) I don't know why but it grabbed me and made me think of things that I try NOT to think of. Sometimes I can't help myself. I think I might put it on my iPhone.

Other constants ... the people I see when I bike in on the trail. It's not that odd when you think about it - we all have our little routines. We get up at the same time and leave the house at the same time. When I was in Paris I took a class and I would walk up the street to catch the Metro at the same time and would see many of the same people. One I remember still - a man, maybe Middle Eastern, who would wear a dark blue sweater with FBI in gold letters across the chest. it always struck me as so funny.

These days my constant odd ball is an older Asian man. Each day when I ride by him he is doing what I can only assume is some kind of workout. I haven't yet figured out if he's warming up or cooling down or if this is the entire workout. Granted I know nothing at all about martial arts but this still doesn't seem like a real workout. For example, sometimes he's walking backwards. Not fast, not slow, just walking backwards. Or standing up and, with alternating hands, slapping himself on the back. Just weird stuff.

I bought a birthday card for a friend with a picture of a woman in a goofy outfit in a silly pose toasting the camera with a schooner of beer and the caption said , "We're all the same age inside". I just love that! To me it means some things just never, ever, ever change. How you felt then is how you feel now. Which is neither good nor bad but simply the observation of the day. Now if I could just stop crying .... It must be the stress.

27 August, 2008

Welcome to the monsoon season

That's what a guy said on the radio this morning. "Didn't know Seattle had a monsoon season, did you?" I can't believe - no, I refuse to believe that summer is over! But holy cow, it has been raining like crazy! I am going to check but this must be some kind of a record wet August. Not to mention the breeze and the lower temperatures. I mean come on! It's August and in the low 60s! And this weekend coming up is Bumbershoot and the weather is predicted to be terrible the whole weekend. My poor DH has a stage and must work outside all weekend, including Friday before the festival starts because the Mayor is doing something at his stage. Lucky for me there's only one act I really want to see and that's late Saturday afternoon so worst case I can just run in and run out. I'll have the Huskies season opener to look forward to that evening at least.

My department's official office space is still being remodeled. We are slated to start moving back into our remodeled space in late October, although I won't be moving until late November because I am getting not a remodeled space but a space someone else has been using while their space was remodeled. In the meantime I've been "living" in the Annex, which is an ancient construction trailer sitting between Pacific Avenue and the Rotunda/H wing section of the Health Sciences Building. Things are less than perfect here, to put it mildly. The air conditioning either doesn't work (like in my space) or is so cold that one cannot even stand it (like my friend Kate's space). One of the reasons I chose this particular office was because it has windows that opened out onto a lovely lawn -- that got dug up and covered with blacktop the week I moved in!! Well now they're breaking up the blacktop and loading it into trucks. I have to have my window open to breath so it's noisy and stinky, to say the least. I am not one to complain too much [no, really!] but with everything that's been going on with work I am already nearly on my last nerve and then this constant noise just is making me crazy!!! People come and people go because it's a surge space. One of our new people is an Avon representative. Can you guess what that means? It means that every day besides all of the noise and other nonsense I put up with here I have the reek of a different cheap perfume wafting down the hall each and every day. [Good heavens, I AM in a bad mood, aren't I?] At least I didn't forget my keys again today. Well, I drove - pretty hard to forget the keys.

I worked on the Trellis Shawl last night. Only 2 1/2 (or so) balls to go for the main part! Woohoo! I measured it on the floor - 18 inches to go. The sleeves will be fast. Then I really need to finish up that Sizzle for my sister. Then I think I'll start thinking about gift knitting and KNIT FROM MY STASH!! Seriously. I think with the One Skein book I got and the scarf book I should be able to use that stash.

A couple years ago I knit a cute little flower outfit for my friend's little girl, who I saw yesterday. The little girl loved her flower outfit but now the skirt is too short and the top is too small. She wants a pink hat with a flower on it. I can do that! She's so adorable - looks like a little elf.

26 August, 2008

At least it's good for the garden

That's what we say when it rains and rains when we don't want it to. The weekend was nice on Saturday but Sunday, not so nice. Because of all the rain and the warm weather the garden is full of weeds. No, not "full" but I have to keep up with them. Sunday was the day but I only got about 45 minutes into it when it started to rain. And I'm not talking sprinkles here - big, fat wet drops. I am going to have to make myself spend an hour each day of the 3 day weekend coming up to get the weeds out. I can stand an hour at a time. Anything more than that .. ick.

We ate some of the tomatoes in a Caprese salad Sunday. And fresh basil from the garden too. Oh it was gorgeous! Next year more tomatoes! And I'm going to plant Early Girls rather than the Roma ones the previous owners planted. We roasted some of the home grown corn on the barbecue and that was spectacular! That's a first for me.

The Trellis Shawl is growing. It's now up to my chest and I have a little more than 3 balls to go for the main part. The sleeves are going to be quick. Lovely thing about this house is that it's got carpeting in some of the rooms and I'll be able to lay out some towels and spray my shawl and actually block it! Wow, that'll be a first. Real blocking.

I was dithering around this morning and managed to leave my keys behind. That kind of thing throws my whole day off! And in this whole great big health sciences complex there is ONE extra key to my office. ONE. My department doesn't have it and I have to go to the main building maintenance folks to check out the spare. Had to bring the bike into the building too because no key for the lock. Pretty annoying.

22 August, 2008

The good, the bad and the boucle

I couldn't wait to get home last night and tackle the Trellis Shawl stitch count problem. There is absolutely no way in the whole wide world I could have tinked back with that yarn. I am sure there is someone who could do it, but me? Not on your life. And after knitting a good 3 feet (or more) of this monster I wasn't about to start over either. The bad part about knitting with boucle is that it is just way too easy to mistake a curl for a stitch. But then again, the good part about knitting with boucle is that the curls can mask mistakes quite handily. The trellis pattern isn't that obvious unless you hold the fabric up to let the light through the holes. In that case, knowing that there was a mistake there, my DH was able to ascertain that yes indeed, it did look as if it zigged and zagged and zigged and zigged. But to the casual eye it will not be obvious. Just can't let my friend Peggy near it. Peggy is one of those knitters that I will never ever be - she's a perfect knitter. Everything she makes is so darned gorgeous!

I am still experimenting with ways home from work. It is now very obvious to me that I live on the top of a hill, so getting home is always going to involve at least a mile of steady uphill climb. My goal was to find path that would lead me home while skipping the steeper hills. What I've discovered the past couple afternoons is that my first inclination was the best. And it is the most logical - get off the trail at 97th and take the fairly gentle hill up to Sandpoint Way and just bite the bullet and power up those 20 blocks. Because the trail is nearly sea level I have to climb both west and north. There is no way for me to skip biking up the hills unless I want to bike down to about 135th and then walk up stairs - stairs as in over 125. Nope, not even carrying my new lighter bike. No matter what back roads I take, climbing to Sandpoint Way is steeper the further north I go even though Sandpoint Way itself does dip at one point. That's why I thought I might be able to find a less steep way up but .. not so far.

All this rain has just made the weeds in the flower beds pop up like crazy! Guess what I'm going to be doing this weekend.

20 August, 2008

Is it just me?

Or is this not the most hideous paint job you've ever seen? I was walking Tinkie last night. I'm still exploring the neighborhood and came upon this heinous mess. I pretended to take pictures of Tinkerbell because I didn't want the people in the house to cop onto the fact that I was snapping pictures of their bad taste. What in the world would possess someone to paint their house that color? And that's not the whole house - I only have a portion of it. It's quite large and there is another part of the house and a double garage that you can't see in the picture. What an eyesore! I am SO grateful it's blocks away from my house. If I were a neighbor I would have been so unhappy to see someone painting their house that color. Ewwwwww!

I woke up in the middle of the night and heard it pouring rain. And when the alarm went off at 6:20 it was still coming down in buckets so I decided to drive in and do some errands on the way home. Of course now as I am typing -- it's brilliant sunshine. It is supposed to rain again this afternoon and tomorrow and then by Friday be back nice again. I must say the garden is just loving it!

I didn't get around to working on that mistake in the Trellis Shawl last night. And it's too big to take in to noon knitting on Wednesday. Maybe tonight I can work on it.

I am hoping to hear from the refrigerator repairman today. It is SUCH a hassle having the fridge out of commission and having to go out to the garage every time you need something from the fridge. Especially in the morning when I'm getting my food ready for work. S did some sleuthing about this particular model on the Internet and found that although it is the most energy efficient of the refrigerators out there it does tend to break down. Therefore I am very very thankful the people who bought it had the foresight to get the extended warranty!

19 August, 2008

Talk about your inauspicious starts

This stuff you can't make up -- I got ready to go this morning and turned on my "new" GPS thingie - my Garmin Forerunner 201 replacement I received yesterday from a guy on eBay. First of all I couldn't get it to switch from pace to speed mode - pace is for when you're running and speed for when you're biking. Since it was still trying to triangulate I didn't think much of that, figuring I'd check it out further at work and/or when I go running. I bought it from someone in Texas so it's going to take a bit of doing for it to find it's bearings, so to speak. But at least I could use it to time the ride, right? Off I went down the street, turned the corner to go up the hill, down shifted whereupon the chain derailed, my goggles split in half, my helmet fell off and my Garmin quit working. That took 50 seconds, ladies and gentlemen. As my friend Mikie says, "heavy sigh". Got the chain back on, picked up my helmet, put my glasses back together and tried to re-start the GPS but it was locked up. I guess trying to find the satellite was too much for it.

It rained most all of yesterday and I got a bit wet going home last night but honestly, it felt good. I am sure the garden is very happy. The lawn was looking a bit rough even though there is a sprinkler system. I know this is just going to make more weeds grow but that's the price we pay.

I was rather jangled when I got home last night - busy day at work and I hadn't slept well at all Sunday night. All I wanted to do after walking the dog was have a shower and a cocktail and read my paper. But the DH wanted to hang pictures! I tried my best to be nice about it but I don't think I was very believable. He got the big gilt mirror hung up over the buffet in the dining room, but when he came into the family room with a pair of ... well let's be honest here - hideous pictures he had purchased at Costco(!) and was going to put them up in the family room I am afraid I was a little less than polite. "Oh, those don't go there. I think they'll look better upstairs in the hall on that brown-ish wall, don't you?" I mean ... they have black frames for crying out loud!! I know he loves them and he can hang them somewhere, but lets find a place that people walking into the house aren't necessarily going to see right away. I know the family room is in the back but people tend to gravitate towards the kitchen area, especially since the doors to the deck are there. So I am now going to have to find some place, upstairs hopefully, that he will accept. Am I bad?

The Trellis Shawl is going along quite nicely except I found that I have 2 extra stitches. I am reasonably sure that I discovered this on the first row that it happened. One of the rows is yo,ssk and if you haven't done the previous purl row a bit on the loose side some of the ssk are pretty hard to do. Boucle yarn is tricky anyway so I am sure I ended up with the extra stitches on that row. The light just wasn't good enough and I was tired last night so that'll be my big chore tonight. Wish me luck!

18 August, 2008

Tink the Adventure Dog

We are still learning about our new house and garden. Tink helps out in her own doggie way, by showing me where the holes in the fence are. Last night while we were getting ready to go to dinner I let her out in the back to take care of business. S was on the phone and I was getting myself dressed. I called her and she wouldn't come in and I could see her at the back of the garden, sniffing at the fence. I know she heard me because she stood there, looking at me. Little dickens!! So I took off my high shoes, put my feet into my garden shoes sitting on the deck and marched out across the lawn to get her. As soon as she could see I meant business and was coming through the garden, up to the fence to grab her she started squeezing herself under the fence!! And I was that close to grabbing her but she got through and I could see her, tail high and wagging, running around the neighbor's back yard. I dashed back to the house and S hung up and got into his car and drove around the block one direction and I took off running in the other. He made it back there before I, of course, so when I came around the block I could see his car sitting in front of the house directly behind ours and my phone rang - he had her. That silly little dog - she is pretty smart. As soon as she saw him she came running to him, he said "Tink" and she stopped in her tracks, obviously not liking his tone of voice, and turned around and headed back to the fence to try to squeeze back into our yard! She wasn't fast enough for him though.

Now I am going to have to go around the entire perimeter of the property and inspect the fence. Another piece of the puzzle fell into place this morning while I was getting ready for work. S called out to me - "Come here, quick!" And I ran to the back and looked out into the yard and there was a whole family of raccoons, playing in the yard. Big ones, too! So that's how my dahlia got trampled. I didn't think Tink could have done that. And also, that's how the holes got under the fence. It's a wildlife paradise I guess. I found a gopher hole in the side yard this weekend as well.

It was blazing hot all weekend so what did I do? Turned up the air conditioning and did some serious knitting! My goal was to find the most comfy and best place to knit in my new place. Really, the first weekend I've had just time to myself with nothing to do but knit (and watch football). I found that the purple comfy chair in the living room is the best place to knit because a) it's comfy and b) there is lots of natural light. I measured the Trellis Shawl after using 3 balls of the Silk Mountain and calculated that I needed 11 balls for the body, so Saturday I rolled up 8 more balls. Now when this basket is empty I will be finished with the body of the shawl. For some reason that's less intimidating to me than stopping and measuring all the time. Here's how it looks so far: Not too exciting. You can't really see the trellis pattern, even in close up. Maybe when it's blocked. It's good TV knitting.

Oh -- the Seahawks won their second preseason game. That was my Saturday night while S worked. Pretty nice - knitting and football. We all know that's my favorite!

15 August, 2008

We're havin' a heat wave!

Oh yeah .... it is hot and humid and in fact they have put out a heat warning for the area. The air conditions are bad for the first time in almost ten years, I understand. It is therefore lucky that I haven't been riding my bike the past couple days. Wednesday I had to wait for the fridge repairman -- [on a side note, why is it that I have a husband with a home office but every time there needs to be some waiting around for a repairman and/or some other house related thing, he is busy?] and so I worked at home and yesterday I had to meet up with the housekeeper for her first visit and she changed the time so there I was, stuck working here again. I finally quit trying to be thrifty and turned on the air conditioning. Oh baby .... ahhhhhhh, huge difference.

My office at work is a hot box - a sweat box. It is supposedly air conditioned and my friend Kate's office is so chilled she can't even stand being there and my office, right across the building from her, is so hot that even with the window open and a fan blowing I am always too hot. So even though it's not the most convenient set up here at home, at least it's cooler. My DH hasn't yet gotten the wireless set up to work with anything except his laptop so I have to squish myself onto his bookkeeper's desk so that I can plug into the ethernet. It works, but it's not an easy set up. Yesterday I was working on spreadsheets and making up table assignments for the coming class - tedious and fiddly work, but it sure made the day zip by.

Not so much knitting going on. Tuesday night I worked on the Trellis Shawl and a bit on some socks. Last night was a wine auction and picnic - the anniversary of our first date - so even though I got home by 8:30 there was no knitting because it was too bloody hot, even with the air conditioning. Tonight -- I don't know we'll have to see. It is predicted to be nearly 90 degrees today. Not conducive for knitting.

I'm going to take Tinkie out to the dog park at lunchtime and let her swim.

12 August, 2008

An unnatural disaster

Even though I ran yesterday afternoon, with the proper fueling up before I got on my bike for the ride home (an apple and a piece of cheese) it was much much MUCH easier than last week on my old bike. It's a little challenging, but I think with my toe clips installed it will be easier still. I was pretty tired and sweaty when I got home, but got the little Tink walked then had my shower and changed into my lounge-y pants. That's when I noticed that my bedroom clock was blinking. Hmmm ... must have had a power outage. No big deal, I re-set the clock and then went downstairs and out onto the deck to put my feet up and read the paper and do the puzzle. The big cooler is still outside from the party because there wasn't enough room in the inside fridges to put the left over beverages. I pulled a bottle of white wine out of the cooler and poured myself a glass, then went inside to get a handful of chips and some salsa. Hmmmm and that's when I noticed that the display on the fridge wasn't working.

The light came on when I opened up the door but it was definitely not very cold in there and the buttons on the display didn't work. Just one bar blinking. I checked the breaker box and nothing seemed to be amiss - although in retrospect that was kind of silly since there was obviously power coming to the thing. About that time my DH came in the door but he didn't have a clue either. I had been looking at the brochure, trying to troubleshoot but there was nothing in there about this type of thing, so I called Sanyo. Their big idea was to turn it off for 10 minutes to see if it would re-set once the power came back. That didn't work. The owners had thoughtfully purchased an extended warranty and were very good note keepers, so since my DH had a 3 am call for a 6 am show this morning and needed to eat and get to bed, I worked on dinner and he called Best Buy and arranged for repair. Wednesday is their earliest time. They are supposed to give me a call today and set a definite time to come over.

I just figured everything would be fine in there for over night and I'd put a few things in the fridge in the garage in the morning. I didn't take into consideration that there is an automatic ice maker, hence the freezer is full of ice all the time. Well .... not when there is no power. So what did I step in when I came downstairs this morning? Yeah, ice water. I didn't see a way to get the ice out of there and I was in a hurry, of course, so I just put a pile of towels down and I'll have to deal with it when I get home. I did transfer all of the frozen stuff out to the other freezer in the garage fridge, which is now packed full. And now I'm sitting here and wishing that I had taken the time this morning to pull that brochure out again and figure out how to get the ice out of there because it's going to be a soggy mess on the floor when I get home. Hope Tink stays out of it.

Since S had to go to bed at 8:30 to get up at 1 am, I sat downstairs and knit on my Trellis Shawl and watched the Simpson's Movie (again). Good mindless TV for knitting. I just wish I could find my iPod sound system so I could listen to music without ear buds! That should be my project Saturday, since S has to work all day and late into the night. I can break down boxes and try to get some assemblage of order in there and also maybe find those things I've been missing - a blue bathroom rug that would be perfect for the upstairs hall bathroom, my fireplace candelabra which will be super sexy for the jacuzzi tub in the master bath, and most importantly my iPod sound system!!!!

I brought my current sock project with me today and hope to be able to get out and knit at lunchtime. The weather is gorgeous and I want to start working hard on those socks so I can finish them up and cast on with the beautiful Noro sock yarn that my Ravelry Birthday Swap partner sent me. I keep petting it .... oooooooo yummmmmmm.

11 August, 2008

What a totally awesome birthday weekend!

Oh it was just about the most perfect birthday weekend ever! My auspicious birth day was gorgeous, weather-wise and all wise. I ran again on Friday and did my whole 30 minutes without stopping! That is just unheard of. I have never come back from such a long lay off and run the whole thing! That means that I should be able to train well enough to run the Dawg Dash! yay!!

I managed to beat my DH home Friday since he was out running last minute birthday errands. I got in the shower and dressed in time for the kick off. The Seahawks played the Vikings in Minnesota and they kicked butt! I got to sit and watch football and drink champagne and I was happy. There were flowers from my sister when I got home, not to mention the other flowers my DH had gotten me plus balloons!! Some hearts and a Seahawks balloon. And for dessert, chocolate cake. And if that wasn't enough, there was the present. A new bike!! A nice light one. Wow. Just perfect.

And to add a little perfection to the evening, about 5:30 (just as the Seahawks were about to score their first touchdown) the doorbell rang and it was a nice neighbor couple and their daughter at the door to welcome us to the neighborhood with a plateful of homemade chocolate chip cookies. I swear. Just too much.

Saturday we spent getting stuff ready for the party. And while the weather forecast had said rain, it was lovely in the morning. By the time we were done running around however it was cloudy. My DH had purchased all sorts of silly things at the party store - pink flamingos for the croquet lawn, a pirate flag to fly off the front porch and, silliest of all, a cardboard pirate with the face cut out for people to stick their heads in for pictures. That was hilarious and quite a hit. We did try to get people playing croquet and some of the little kids went at it, but it kept starting to sprinkle. And at one point actually it was pouring! S had put a canopy up over the deck to cover the barbecue and a couple of the tables but it was splashing off the barbecue so we had to take it inside for a while until it calmed down. It was a good party, even though the police weren't called.

I spent yesterday morning cleaning up and working in the garden. I had found some gigantic zucchini when I was giving a garden tour on Saturday so I picked them and lots of green beans. Turns out the beans were just a little too ripe - I cooked them last night with some other roasting vegies and they were too tough. I made a couple loaves of zucchini bread with one of the big 'uns. Some of the strawberries were ripe as well. Oh gosh did they ever taste good! I can't wait for the corn - it should be ready soon. The tomatoes haven't even started getting pink. I hope they will ripen up before the weather starts to cool down. It's going to be nice this week.

I also did the entire New York Times Sunday crossword yesterday. I finished the whole thing! I always start them, but it is very rare that I can completely finish the thing. I am considering framing it. .... No, not really.

I cast on again for the Trellis Shawl Friday evening and have knitted up one ball of yarn and started on a second. This fabric on size 9 needles has a little more drape and the trellis pattern is more open. I think this is going to work. My only concern is, since I am substituting yarn, that I have enough. To that end, when I finish the second ball I will measure and that will tell me if I'll be able to do the entire shawl. If not - then at least I will be prepared and know I have to make it shorter or skip the sleeves or make something else.

08 August, 2008

Happy Birthday to me!!

And another year goes by! What a year, too. When I think back to where I was last year compared to now it's just amazing. Like I always said, good things are right around the corner, I just don't know how long the block is. It was a long one but once the good things started coming .... wow. So this birthday first of all I am thankful and grateful and joyful ... full of all sorts of good things.

The day has started out pretty darned good. I opened my Ravelry Birthday Swap package from my birthday pal, suzenew. What a fantastic birthday surprise! Thanks SO much Suzie!! There's a skein of Noro Silk Mountain sock yarn, which I have been dying to try out, plus a couple skeins of some really yummy linen blend yarn and a spa package with a cute pear candle, some shower gel and nice tea and a soothing eye mask. Great start to my day - and let me tell you, it was hard not to open it before this morning!!!

My DH keeps telling me he got me a great present. But I have to wait until I get home. And when I get home we'll have champagne, and he's cooking steak for dinner PLUS there's pre-season football on at 5!! OMG! How perfect is that?

Last night I didn't do any knitting, but I did some UN-knitting. I frogged the Trellis Shawl and maybe tonight I'll cast on again with size 9 needles and try not to mess it up! We went to Costco last night to get stuff for the party Saturday. I still have to unpack all the books in the theatre room and it doesn't look like the pictures and mirrors will get hung before the party, but that's okay. Hanging all those pictures is going to be very difficult. Not the physical part of it - that's what a husband is for - but just figuring out the best place for everything. We have lots of stuff.

Yesterday my MIL brought a birthday gift over to the house for me. It's a really lovely glass ball on a stand. Kind of hard to describe. I'll have to take a picture. And the fun part will be deciding where in the garden to place it.

Well .. work is very busy so I'd better get back to it!!

07 August, 2008

One way easy ...

one way hard. Super hard. I biked home last night for the first time. Okay, mitigating circumstances first - my legs were very sore from running, it was nearly 90 degrees, and my stomach was growling with hunger. In retrospect I should have had an Emergen-C and eaten a piece of fruit, but I didn't. The ride on the trail, about 6.5 miles, was fine and easy but once I got off the trail and onto the street (up 97th and then north on Sand Point Way) it was torture! Not because of traffic or surface, but the fact that it's a significant uphill grade for more than a mile. I didn't stop, but I sure as heck wasn't going very fast. The good news is that it will get easier. It's never going to be a cake walk, but it beats the heck out of a 15 mile ride. I wish it were downhill going home rather than going to work in the morning, but there ya go.

My Garmin Forerunner GPS unit, which I just love and use every single day running OR biking, was not powering up. I plugged it into my computer and reloaded its software and it powered up, but then I couldn't get it to turn off. I am lost without it. I can't tell how fast I'm going or how far, I can't keep track of my running pace either. I checked into sending it away to get fixed but they charge almost as much as it would cost to buy a new unit. I guess I'm going to have to bite the bullet and take care of that this weekend.

I got a bit of vindication from my DH with regards to my bike. I had him take it in to get the tire fixed a couple days ago since he was going to be out the way of the bike shop. I kept telling him my bike was heavy, but since he habitually lifts 100+ pound pieces of audio equipment without breaking a sweat I think he just thought I was being a wimp. HOWEVER, once he took my bike in to the shop and lifted it in and out of the van, and then went shopping for new bikes he realized just how heavy mine is. I wasn't being a wimp after all, it seems. That bike is 15 years old. I remember buying it for my birthday present to myself the first year I lived in my house in Ravenna. And I love that bike. It really suits me - it's pink and just the right size. But I believe I'm going to have to give it up and move on to a nice, light modern one. Maybe I can still fine a pink one. Oh! Or green would be nice too.

When I got home yesterday, all exhausted and sweaty, it was SO nice to walk into air conditioning! What a deluxe thing to have here in Seattle. I love it! Plus there was a package waiting for me from my Birthday Swap partner. I am a stickler for opening presents on the correct day, so I haven't even peeked at it. I will save it for when I get home tomorrow. I am going to send hers off today. Her birthday is the 11th of this month. I would link to her blog, but she doesn't have one! I know, huh? hee

I worked on my Trellis Shawl at the noon knitting yesterday and made another little mistake. Then I was multi-tasking last night - doing laundry, cooking dinner, knitting and watching TV. At one point I went upstairs to fold a load of clothes and left my knitting in the middle of the row. When I picked it up again I started knitting instead of purling, then turned the work and started the next row, got to the middle of the work and realized my mistake. That tears it - I'm going to have to rip it out and start over. I was wishing I had gone up a needle size anyway and I'm only maybe 1/10th of the way into it so it's okay. I don't know if I'll have time to do the ripping back tonight. Still lots to do at the house before the party Saturday (when it's predicted we'll have rain!!!gah!!!). The DH got the system set up in the theatre last night so now I have to unpack all those books! Oh well, maybe I'll finally unearth my iPod speaker system. That's the only thing I haven't yet found.

06 August, 2008

Hurts so good

Yesterday I finally got to start running again. It was hot -- and it's even hotter today -- but I managed to run for a full 15 minutes without a rest, then run walk run walk the rest of the 30 minutes. I was pretty happy with that. Usually after such a long lay off it takes me a few days to get up to 15 minutes at a go. I'm confident now that I'll be ready for the Dawg Dash in September for sure. It's just so strange that my legs are sore today though! I mean, after all that bike riding one would think that a little jogging wouldn't even register but not so.

It was also my appointment to have my eyes checked and it was way over due. As in six months. My far vision has improved and so my old contacts, which had been increasingly uncomfortable, were over correcting which was making my eyes so tired! This is SUCH an improvement. Typically I've been taking my contacts out as soon as I get home, but yesterday I didn't need to. We had a block watch picnic to attend and so we met many of the neighbors. But when I got home I did take out the contacts because I wanted to wear my birthday present. Each year I buy myself something special and this year I really splurged and got a gorgeous pair of Chanel glasses frames. They are awesome! I ran right over to the lens place after work and had them made up. I love love love those glasses!

We have some lovely neighbors. I'm not much for these types of social situations but S is quite at home schmoozing it up. I'm better one on one. We learned about the house and the neighborhood traditions - a Christmas progressive dinner, which sounds like fun and the people who owned our house always gave a neighborhood Super Bowl party. No problem, we're down with that. I invited some of them to come over for our open house on Saturday. I guess lots of people have wanted to have a peek inside the house and at the back garden. I learned that the previous owner did all that landscaping! I didn't realize that. It is quite spectacular. She gave me the contact information for the woman who helped her out a few times a year and I'm going to keep that up for sure.

05 August, 2008

Is it really oh so wrong to love an appliance?

No, not THAT kind of appliance! I am talking about my new washer and dryer. Front loader, high efficiency washer that is so quiet I can't believe it. I feel kind of silly talking about my washer and dryer but I just can't get over how wonderful they are! That washing machine senses how large the load is and uses the correct amount of water, which is much much less than a top loader. The literature was talking about how much cleaner it gets clothes. I thought that was pretty bizarre, thinking I had clean clothes from my other washer. But Sunday when I was putting some kitchen stuff away I grabbed my pot holders and my doggie washing apron and threw them into the washer. I was absolutely blown away at how clean that apron got with no bleach. Just ... wow. So now I want to wash everything I own in my new washer. I shall resist and wait at least until I've work it once.

But here's the deal -- can I still felt in a front loader? There isn't the same type of agitation going on as in a top loader. And I just bought two cute patterns - a felted bag and a hat - The Trellis Tote & Flap Bag and the Felted Trellis Toque. I guess I could go to a laundromat, but I sure as heck wouldn't want to.

After my easy-peasy bike ride in yesterday I was looking forward to an equally easy ride home, got all togged up and outside and realized that my back tire was flat AGAIN! I just got it fixed!! Obviously there is something in the tire and the guy repairing it didn't check. So S had to come out and get me. I waited and waited and after about 30 minutes the phone rang and it was him - "Honey, I haven't left yet. I can't find Tink anywhere!" Grrrreat .... seems he had the garage door open while he was messing about taking stuff out of the van and he let Tink follow him out there from the house. She's a good dog. She'll mind if you tell her to stay, especially if you correct her if she starts to maybe walk out onto the driveway. But S doesn't keep that keen of an eye on her, so she just decided to have an adventure. As I was talking to him and asking where he had looked (Under the bed? In the backyard?) my other line was ringing, so I picked it up and it was a woman. "I have Tinkerbell". Whew! She was just two houses north. So he got her and then got me and the bike and he'll take it back to the shop today.

I got to knit lots on the Trellis Shawl last night. S is a sound guy. He owns a sound company and provides sound for events and galas and a few concerts, etc. And he is fanatical about surround sound systems and speakers and blah blah blah blah .... honestly most of it is WAY beyond me. (With the exception of the home theatre he had set up at his house, where if you were sitting there watching an adventure movie, the couch would actually vibrate with the low sounds, like in a movie theatre. Really really cool. Oh, and also he has a thing about HD but again, I rarely can see the difference. ) We have a family room off the kitchen where we have my old TV - which I think is fine and he is not too impressed. However, it does have a decent surround system so he was putting that up last night while I was just knitting away. Lovely. He still has to do the upstairs big system but at least for now when I get home on Friday for my birthday dinner, I can sit there and knit and watch football. yay!!

We're having a housewarming party Saturday. I know it's soon but I wanted to get on it right away because if I put it off, I'd never get the house ready. Plus which S has a bigshow the next weekend, so since this is also my birthday weekend, I think it's perfect. And we're really in pretty good shape. The only .. what what I consider the only .. big thing left is hanging all the art and mirrors. I wish my sister was here. She is so good with that! Me? Not so much.

04 August, 2008

What I did on my summer vacation

Totally worth using a week of vacation time. We got moved into our new house and I am just thrilled to pieces. It was hard, hard work though. Saturday we moved a few things into the garage, since we didn't officially take possession until Monday evening. Monday, with the "help" of my in-laws I finished packing up the DH's house and that evening we took a preliminary load over. Tuesday morning he was off to work and I was off to meet the movers at the storage facility. Of course, it was raining but not too hard, thankfully. We thought they'd be able to get some stuff into their truck after loading all my stuff, but it was full so I took them over to the new place to unload. My sweet M-I-L just wants to help but her idea of help was to start unpacking my kitchen for me! Un ... no thank you, I want to do that myself. She just wouldn't sit there and read so I had her putting pictures into a photo album while she waited for the delivery people, but once boxes were there to unpack I couldn't keep her out of them. I set her to unpacking glassware and washing it while I supervised the unloading of the first bunch of my things from my old house. The only glitch we had in the whole day was that the big sectional wouldn't fit through the doorway in the upstairs theatre. However, with the expertise of my F-I-L they managed it -- he took the door and the door jamb off. I was hiding in the bedroom. But at the end of 8 hours I had the house together enough so S could come home and sleep in a new bed, have his clothes and bathroom stuff and have coffee in the morning.

The rest of the week is just a blur. Each day was long and arduous. I am covered in bruises from lugging boxes around and bumping them into myself. I just knew that I had to keep at it because I never have the energy to do much around the house after work except the normal chores. In other words, I'm not likely to spend 4 hours after work unloading boxes. Not a chance. There are a few boxes left to unload, plus all of the books because the theatre is the last room to be done and I can't put the books away until the TV and surround speakers are all in place. That is going to be an awesome experience though! S got the TV hooked up Saturday -- cable came on Saturday. I didn't even miss TV during the week because I was so exhausted at the end of the day I would read a bit and then conk out. S got the downstairs TV hooked up Thursday, I think, and we watched a DVD. That was a treat but we were so tired we couldn't even finish it! And speaking of tired, I haven't even tried out the whirlpool bathtub yet!

All week I was just itching to knit but it was too chaotic to get anything out. Things slowed a bit towards the end of the week and on Friday I gave myself an early birthday gift of a trip to the Olympus Spa and a body scrub and facial. Oh baby! That was sooooo nice! By Sunday afternoon I was putting away the last kitchen box. I still had a few things on my list to do -- wash the dog, work in the garden and do my nails and cook dinner. But as I was going through my list in the morning with my DH he pointed out that my list was just too long and I had to give myself a break. Right. There I was at 2 o'clock and the last box was emptied. I made a deal with myself - one hour in the garden and then I could sit down and watch the NFL Network and knit. And one hour later I was inside and opening my new umbrella swift. I finally got to use the ball winder I bought months ago. I was in heaven!! Winding balls of Noro Silk Mountain and watching football. *sigh*

I started a new project - the Trellis Shawl from Runway Knits. The trellis pattern is a four row repeat and it's pretty simple. The Silk Mountain is perfect for this pattern. Not my usual thing but a nice break.

And now I'm back to work -- August is a big, busy month for me. The weather is gorgeous and my bike ride in -- super easy! I think if I had gone from my old house and the dinky 3 mile each way commute to this one I would be complaining. But after doing the 15 miles each way, this is a cake walk! I can start running again!!